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Noopur Bhandiwad, Pune

20 Chinese air force planes including a combat drone were spotted entering the island’s air defence zone and Taiwan’s Pacific East Coast over the past 24 hours, Taiwan’s defence Ministry reported on August 26. 

Around 20 out of the 32 aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army and 9 Navy vessels were detected between 6 a.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday. 

Taiwan stepped up its aircraft, vessels, and missile systems to counter the Chinese activity. While China sees democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, Taiwan has in turn felt increased military pressure from Beijing over the last three years. 

In the past year, Beijing, in response to Taiwan’s political activities, has intensified its military drills around Taiwan. Last week itself, China organised military drills around Taiwan as a sign of their disapproval over Vice-President William Lai’s short visits in the United States this month. 

Providing more details on China’s activity on Friday, Taiwan’s defence ministry informed that the aircraft was of Su-30 type and J-10 fighters and anti-submarine activity. On Saturday, attempts to elicit a response from China’s defence ministry through phone calls were answered. 

A number of fighter jets and drones were observed crossing the historic median line Taiwan Strait. This line, previously an informal demarcation between the opposing sides, has seen a consistent breach by Chinese aircraft over the past year, per a map provided by Taiwan’s ministry. 

At the moment, the ministry is unable to judge whether the drills initiated by China last Saturday have officially concluded, due to the lack of any communication from Beijing. 

Although Taiwan has not witnessed any Chinese military aircraft enter its airspace, it has noted that plans have come near the island’s central contagious zone, which is within 24 nautical miles (44 km) of its cost.